The coronavirus pandemic has scrambled everyday life, including how kids learn and how families ensure students can be taught.
Rep. Joe Morelle on Tuesday announced his backing a bill that would examine how school schedules can be altered so they align with parents and guardians, especially in low-income families.
At issue are school times that have traditionally run from 7 a.m. to the mid-afternoon. In a world that has been upended by the pandemic, work schedules thrown up in the air, and many classes and schools moved online, those times may not work for all families.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated our childcare crisis, underscoring the need for transformative changes to our educational system that put families first and help children succeed," Morelle said in a statement.
"The inconsistences between the school day and the work day often force a parent or guardian into a financially burdensome decision: paying for childcare or cutting hours at work—choices that are particularly difficult for low-income families and hourly workers. I’m proud to introduce this common-sense legislation to help ensure every student and their family has the opportunity to thrive.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has backed similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.
The measure would fund a pilot program for 500 schools to align with work schedules of adults. The move is meant to review lessons learned from these model schools and potentially adopt the schedule elsewhere in the country. And the program would create five-year grants of up to $5 million for school districts to alter elementary schools into using family friendly schedules.